HIV patients told by Pentecostal pastors ‘to rely on God’

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Some young HIV patients are giving up their medicine after being told by Pentecostal Church pastors to rely on faith in God instead, doctors warn.


Medical staff told the BBC a minority of pastors in England were endangering young church members by putting them under pressure to stop medication.

Healing is central to Pentecostalism, a radical belief in the power of prayer and miracles.

But one pastor denied people would ever be told to stop taking their medicine.

The Children's HIV Association surveyed 19 doctors and health professionals working with babies and children in England; its members had reported hearing anecdotal evidence of HIV patients deciding to stop taking their anti-retroviral drugs because their pastors had told them to do so.

Written By: Alex Strangwayes-Booth
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

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  1. It begs the question by believers : Why did nasty old God invent HIV in the first place?
    It’s as though Pentecostalists don’t want AIDS sufferers as part of their group and if any of them survive ,they can proclaim a miracle!

    • In reply to Article Headline by
      by Alex Strangwayes-Booth:

      HIV patients told by Pentecostal pastors ‘to rely on God’

      And autistic patients are often told by “Admirals” in the Sea Org to “Rely on L. Ron Hubbard.” The death of Jett Travolta does not appear to have scared off nearly enough people, but at least that might all be changing soon. Once Shelly Miscaviges remains are discovered, it’ll all be over.

  2. Of course, the “root” of the problem, the ultimate cause of it, is not the pastors themselves (they are, obviously, enablers). It is faith. Faith — belief without evidence. Belief in spite of evidence. That is the problem.

    That’s why even supposedly benign sects like the C of E are still, in my view, pernicious: they teach that faith is a virtue. That putting things “in the hands of God” is a good thing.

    Once you give people the ultimate “get out of jail free card”, that is faith, much else follows, including the faith-based nonsense we see on display in the article above.

  3. If doctors were telling their patients this they would at minimum loose their license if not be criminally prosecuted. It’s long time overdue we start respecting and implementing one of the foundational features of the Rule of Law: that it applies equally to everyone.

  4. Isn’t HIV supposed to be God’s punishment for super-duper sinful behaviour? Why would even the most sincere appeal to the same deity grant sudden immunity? Oh, silly me; I forgot about Proverbs 3:5 for a moment there.

    • In reply to #7 by WaffleWolfer:

      Isn’t HIV supposed to be God’s punishment for super-duper sinful behaviour? Why would even the most sincere appeal to the same deity grant sudden immunity? Oh, silly me; I forgot about Proverbs 3:5 for a moment there.

      :-) That’s an excellent point. It made me wonder why we don’t hear about god the sustainer of punishment, since clearly punishment has evolved from the incident in the garden till now.

      “He sustains our punishment!” -I’d like to see Olsteen sell that one. I bet he’d still have an audience, but hopefully not too big of one.

  5. Medical science, incrementally, with great effort, and painstaking garnering of knowledge, has done much to alleviate suffering.

    On the other hand we have these pathetic pastors.No learning to speak of,( bible school does not count.It is hardly a gruelling ‘discipline’)

    And the gullible faithheads flock to these charlatans for healing.It makes one want to pull out one’s hair in sheer frustration

    Criminal insanity.

  6. I don’t doubt that there’s a strand of homophobia in the Pentacostalists view here. Rather as they used to duck witches, there’s an element of “if God saves them, hooray; if not they brought it on themselves and deserve to die”.

    Thoroughly obnoxious people, in every possible sense.

  7. @ link – The doctors and health professionals reported a variety of cases:

    • Some said they had dealt with parents who felt under pressure to stop giving their young children their HIV medicine – and some had actually done so

    • Others were breastfeeding mothers with HIV who refused the medicine that would stop the virus being passed onto their babies

    • Some were young people, making the decision for themselves

    It is particularly irresponsible and immoral when we look at some of the groups targeted!

  8. This has been going on for a few years now and there have been several deaths reported in the couple of years because of people stopping their medication. One of the culprit groups was SCOAN – the Synangogue Church of all Nations, from their name alone you realise they are a bunch of dangerous nutbars.

    I am sure this government has already been approached about the problem but, as is often the case with politicians, of all persuasions, they refuse to anything against a group who use the word god.

    I have seen far too many friends suffer with HIV and believe the strongest action should be taken against these churches. Telling someone to stop taking their medication is telling them to kill theirself, that is the hypocrisy of religionists as these same faith freaks refuse to accept that those of use who suffer should have the right to decide when we want to end our lives.

  9. This article was sad but not really a surprise. If prayer works why bother with medicine, right? If it does not work wouldn’t that mean that god wants you to die and his will by done right? That is faith which they hold up as a virtue and but I think is really a vice which is really the essence of the argument between religious people and atheists.

  10. There was a point before HIV drugs when I went to two AIDS funerals a week. Nearly everyone I knew died. Now we have the drugs, that does not happen. Ask anyone who lived through that time. This preacher is a murderer taking advantage of a loop hole in the law. Taking medical advice from someone who hates you and preaches you should be killed is hardly wise.

    What he is doing should be a capital crime. At the very least it is counselling suicide.

    • In reply to #15 by Roedy:

      What he is doing should be a capital crime. At the very least it is counselling suicide.

      ..and with true hypocrisy, they will at the same time, condemn assisted suicide as the personal choice of a best option for the terminally ill!

  11. There’s nothing to add to all these comments, except to register support. Sometime, sometime soon, the law has to tackle these dangerous people, who deny medicine and vaccination. They prey on the defenceless, gullible and ill educated, mostly they make big money on it, and they endanger people’s lives and cause death. This is much more serious than most false advertising, and there should be separate laws to deal with it.

    • In reply to #17 by Kevin Murrell:

      There’s nothing to add to all these comments, except to register support. Sometime, sometime soon, the law has to tackle these dangerous people, who deny medicine and vaccination. They prey on the defenceless, gullible and ill educated, mostly they make big money on it, and they endanger people’s lives and cause death. This is much more serious than most false advertising, and there should be separate laws to deal with it.

      Funny how the law is so concerned about people being mislead by advertising that Congress had no compunction of even flagrantly running roughshod over the First Amendment of the US Constitution. From the Federal Trade Commission website:

      “When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence.”

      Except, of course, when the message is a religious one. Then you are granted automatic carte blanche. It’s long overdue that any public statement made that can affect the lives of people carries the burden of being truthful, not misleading, and when appropriate being backed by scientific evidence.

  12. In reply to #18 by godsbuster:

    In reply to #17 by Kevin Murrell:

    There’s nothing to add to all these comments, except to register support. Sometime, sometime soon, the law has to tackle these dangerous people, who deny medicine and vaccination. They prey on the defenceless, gullible and ill educated, mostly they make big money o

    Good. Thanks for the support. RedDog has just written something on 9.9 which is germain. I agree with much of what he wrote, but he has a much stronger commitment to free speedh than I.

    I can’t see how advocating something which is scientifically false and likely to damage many people if acted upon, can be protected by freedom of speech, Even if you don’t actually practice quackery, advocating it can be hugely damaging, as is demonstrated by the anti-vaccination movement, or the anti medicine movements.

    • In reply to #19 by Kevin Murrell:

      In reply to #18 by godsbuster:

      In reply to #17 by Kevin Murrell:

      Good. Thanks for the support. RedDog has just written something on 9.9 which is germain. I agree with much of what he wrote, but he has a much stronger commitment to free speedh than I.

      Thanks for the heads up. As a result the Dog got some obedience training here at #16. Hasn’t barked since ;-)

      • In reply to #20 by godsbuster:

        In reply to #19 by Kevin Murrell:

        In reply to #18 by godsbuster:

        In reply to #17 by Kevin Murrell:

        Good. Thanks for the support. RedDog has just written something on 9.9 which is germain. I agree with much of what he wrote, but he has a much stronger commitment to free speech than I.

        Thanks for the heads up. As a result the Dog got some obedience training here at #16. Hasn’t barked since ;-)

        That particular canine always manages to bite back.

        Usually gets the the last bark in, too.

        Guess obedience training doesn’t always take.

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